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Commentary: The current situation of Roma can only be considered European Apartheid!

Rokycany, 27.4.2011 16:29, (ROMEA)

The Roma Association Forum (Romské sdružení Forum) has sent a declaration to news server Romea.cz claiming that the current situation of Roma people in Europe, primarily in the post-communist countries, "cannot be considered anything other than European Apartheid." The Forum considers the current situation of Roma people in Hungary to be very serious and extremely dangerous from a European perspective. "Roma Association Forum is prepared, in collaboration with EU authorities, to hold constructive political dialogue as part of its program and to contribute toward the stabilization of the current situation of the Roma people in Europe," reads the declaration, which news server Romea.cz publishes in full below.

DECLARATION on the exceptional situation facing Roma people in Europe

The Roma Association Forum (Romské sdružení Forum) is disturbed by the rise in “right-wing extremism” which Roma people in Europe are now facing. These problems are appearing most markedly in the “post-communist” countries. Members of the Roma national minority there permanently face attacks by extremist and militant groups, institutional racism, and racially-motivated persecution. The current situation and state of affairs cannot be considered anything other than European Apartheid!

We consider the current situation of the Roma in Hungary to be very serious and, from a European perspective, extremely dangerous. Roma people in that country are being systematically persecuted and terrorized by the radical extremist organization Védérö (Defense) and the parliamentary party Jobbik (Movement for a Better Hungary). It is unthinkable to us that during peacetime in a Member State of the European Union, Roma people in Hungary have had to leave their homes because of this racial persecution by these "extremist paramilitary" organizations and have been forced to seek safe haven in order to protect their families.

We emphasize that the security of Roma people in Europe is being jeopardized by right-wing, political extremism. In the unstable situation in which Roma people now find themselves, the members of this 12-million strong nation of Europe are beginning to lose one of the fundamental rights that comprises one pillar of democracy and freedom – the individual right to security. We are justifiably, seriously concerned that the European area is becoming a space of hostility for Roma people both in their home countries and as foreigners elsewhere in Europe. Roma people are being denied the value of human dignity and equality. Europe is radicalizing against the Roma people. The dramatic situation in Hungary and other “post-communist countries” is proof of this.

Roma Association Forum calls on the high representatives of the European Union (EU) to change their current policy vis-?-vis the Roma people. The alarming situation of the Roma population in Europe requires a progressive EU approach. At the level of the individual states, in our opinion, all of the EU recommendations on upholding human rights are failing. The EU Member States are invariably engaged in systematically violating the human rights of Roma people, who find it all but impossible to access the human rights protections guaranteed to members of national minorities. If Europe is to become, in future, democratic and safe for all of its citizens, these examples of national-level failure on questions of human rights and security cannot be ignored. Roma Association Forum is prepared, in collaboration with EU authorities, to hold constructive political dialogue as part of its program and to contribute toward the stabilization of the current situation of Roma people in Europe.

on behalf of the Roma Association Forum (Romské sdružení Forum)Ondřej Giňa, Jr., Miroslav Kováč, Iveta Bílková, Antonie Burianská, Ladislav Bílý

Gwendolyn Albert, tisková zpráva, Press release of the Romské sdružení Forum (Roma Association Forum), translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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